Matthijs de Ligt joining Juventus over Barcelona or Manchester City came as a surprise, according to former Ajax youth team coach Ronald de Boer.
De Ligt grew a reputation with Ajax last season as one of the world’s best centre-backs.
His brilliant performances in the Champions League alerted the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City.
Barcelona strengthened their interest and many thought De Ligt was definitely joining the Catalan giants.
Juventus came out of the blue and snapped up the Dutchman in a big money move last summer.
Ronald de Boer, who literally watched De Ligt grow up has admitted he was surprised to see the youngster chose a move to the Serie A.
“I was in the Ajax Academy and immediately liked his character: serious, intelligent, polite, he never complained, just worked hard and was eager to learn,” De Boer told La Gazzetta dello Sport as quoted by Football-Italia.
“De Ligt will be one of the best defenders of this era, I am sure of it. He reminds me of Ruud Krol.”
“I was surprised, because there were clubs interested who had a more similar tactical system to Ajax, such as Manchester City and Barcelona. It would’ve been easier for him to adapt there.
“I thought he would make a different choice, but I respect his decision. At the start, he focused a little too much on over-thinking things, trying not to make mistakes, rather than trusting in his own talent.”